The adage about redundancies, “Two is one and one is none,” applies to many things beyond pens and firearms. For example, I carry several lighters in my outdoor gear, just in case one becomes damaged or lost. I carry multiple cutting edges too, to provide back-ups in the event of loss, loan, or breakage. And I’m a big believer in multiple flashlights. I like to have a light within arm’s reach at all times, and these are the five types I keep around.

Keychain Light
Small and inexpensive, a keychain light can be your best friend, providing light in and around your car, and serving as a back-up to all of your other light sources. Its illumination power will never match that of larger lights, but you don’t always need a beam that would melt the fur off a bear. A little squeeze light is often all you need, and it’s just right for checking pupil dilation (an important first aid diagnostic).

Pen Light
Pen lights have come a long way over the years. Bright beams, long battery life, and rugged construction are characteristics of many different models available today. A pen light is a perfect for pockets, purses, survival kits, or any place where a compact light would be welcome. Pen lights that clip onto a hat brim or pocket are extra handy.

Tactical Light
Nothing fits the bill in “bump in the night” situations like a high-lumen, ultra-bright tactical light. These lights can reach out in the darkness and give you the visibility you want and need. Look for lights that have multiple features like battery saving low-intensity settings and an attacker disorienting strobe setting.

Heavy Light
There’s still a place for those large, long, and clunky D-cell battery flashlights. We keep one on each bedside table in our house. They double as lights and backup weapons.

Head Lamp
My favorite for most situations, the headlamp gives us hands-free lighting, very often with a long battery life. Head lamps sit in the top of my medical bag and in the top of my vehicle tool kit, ready to stream illumination exactly where I’m looking, while keeping both hands free to work.

Tell us what kind of lights you carry, and why, in the comment.